Last time I was in Oregon visiting a much-beloved hippie uncle, I was invited along to Whiskey Wednesdays. This tradition is a weekly gathering of seventysomething men where the titular drink is imbibed while they laugh at their own jokes and poke fun at each other’s expense. After more than a few whiskeys, I’ve wanted to transport the tradition back to Pittsburgh. However, Prairie, the bourbon bar in Garfield that rose from the ashes of Verde last November, has beaten me to it with the recent introduction of the bar’s very own Whiskey Wednesdays.
While slightly grumpy uncles might be absent from this iteration, Prairie has begun hosting whiskey tastings on Wednesdays once every couple of weeks. Each 15-person class is hosted by a liquor-company representative and Prairie’s own bartenders. “The reps have an expertise in how the products were distilled,” says Prairie general manager Matt Fischer. “It helps not just the public but our staff to learn from them.” Each 60-to-90-minute session features three or four tastings, a bar snack, group discussion, questions and notes from the representative. “We want to try to get a tasting vibe back into the service,” says Fischer.
For those who want a more self-directed whiskey education, you can count on a large and varied whiskey selection to mull over. In addition to the classes, Wednesdays promise a list of American bourbons and whiskeys, served either neat or on the rocks, at a 25 percent discount. “We want people to sit down, sip bourbon and have the chance to try something new. It’s a nice way to try things you haven’t had before and not have to invest $50 in something you may not like,” says Fischer. Whether you’re drinking independently or thirsting for knowledge, Prairie is set to deliver. For a schedule of upcoming classes, visit www.prairiepgh.com.
5491 Penn Ave., Garfield.